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Potter County Detention Center plans to build a pod for inmates with mental health illness

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Potter County Detention Center is planning to expand.

The jail wants to add a pod specially dedicated to inmates dealing with mental health.

During the pandemic, the jail has been able to keep the number of inmates low.

However, this has not always been the case.

“Pre-COVID, we were always running out of space,” said Potter County Sheriff Brian L. Thomas.

According to Sheriff Thomas those numbers have started to go back up, and adding the new pod will allow the jail to free bed space.

“We have a lot of mental health consumers within our jail so this will give us a pod where we can put everybody in one location rather than spreading around the jail,” said Sheriff Thomas.

The construction of a pod would cost an estimated at $14 million. If the expansion is approved, Potter County judge Nancy Tanner says construction will be funded with money from the American Rescue Plan.

“The positive in that is two things. One, we can use the space and two, is not costing tax payers here any money,” said Sheriff Thomas. “That money is coming to us so, it’s not like we have to get a bond.”

The Commissioners’ Court will review the plans Monday, June 14.

Sheriff Thomas says many of their employees have already started receiving mental health training.

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